Our bunk room was air conditioned, which was a good thing because the near 90 degree temperatures outside were multiplied inside the ship. After stowing our gear, we were able to tour the massive watercraft on our own and pass time as we saw fit until lunch time.
The first place the boys and I ventured to was the bow of the ship. Standing at the front of this floating fortress, looking back at the massive weapons that dominated the deck was absolutely amazing. There were few places on the ship that were off limits, and the boys examined all that they could. They sat on the anchor, they climbed to the bridge, they sat in the mounts of the 5" inch guns, they even climbed into the turrets of the massive 16" guns pointing fore and aft. They had a blast, (no pun intended) playing hide and seek, and various war games that young boys will inevitably play when set free to their own devices aboard an actual battleship.
For me though, the experience was a little different. You see I am a person that seriously values all that our men and women of the military endures for our freedom. I am one of the people that, when I see a service man or woman in a restaurant, I'll find the waiter or waitress and have them put their meal on my tab. If I see a service man or woman buying a cup of coffee, I'll pay for their coffee. After all, it is a small price for me compared to what they are paying for MY freedom.
During the day we toured the USS Massachusetts, as well as the Destroyer Joseph P.Kennedy, and the other ships anchored along with the Massachusetts. We met veterans that had actually served on the ships we were now playing on like schoolyard playground equipment. We saw re-enactors that described the various weapons and gear that our military used during World War II, and the uses for that equipment.